Nadine Dorries’s political career is not finished because of her jaunt in the jungle on I’m Celebrity, it could be just beginning, she claimed yesterday.
The Mid-Bedfordshire MP was in no mood to apologise and clearly believes that the fame that her appearance on reality TV has given her is a political asset for her and for the Tories.
She avoided giving a direct answer when asked about a persistent rumour that she might defect to the UK Independence Party, though she emphasised that what she would prefer is to stand as a Conservative candidate again at the next election in the seta she has represented since 2005.
After her return from Australia, Mrs Dorries’s membership of the parliamentary Tory party was suspened by the Chief Whip, Sir George Young, because she did not warn the whips’ office that she was going to be on reality TV. She will not be able to run for Parliament again as a Tory unless it is restored.
Asked Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Sunday Politics show, whether her career is ‘effectively over’ she replied: “No, not at all. It might just be beginning.”
Mrs Dorries was scathing about those who have suggested that she has lowered the reputation of Parliament. “I think what they’re articulating is a pompous and very narrow minded attitude,” she said.
She added: “It’s not many children know in schools in Liverpool and Newcastle and Leeds what a Tory politician’s name is. And what I do know is that in those very areas, the Google search for my name shot up. 20 times more people searched my name than Nick Clegg’s or George Osborne in those areas.”